Hunter Gatherer Research

Weaving in a damaged natural environment

A Xwélmexw Coast Salish case study

Hunter Gatherer Research (2015), 1, (4), 445–472.

Abstract

The Xwélmexw (Stó:lō) Salish of Pacific Canada are encapsulated in suburbia yet they continue part-time fishing, hunting, and gathering in the shrinking but still sentient natural world. These complex foragers were sustained by salmon runs, living from May to October at fishing stations along the estuary and lower canyon of the Fraser River near present-day Vancouver and wintering in large shed-like multi-family cedar houses in permanent villages along the watershed. The Xwélmexw carried out hunting and gathering in nearby mountains and forests. Forest activities still include craftwork. Artists go to the remaining forests, collect materials, and renew cooperation with nature and encourage younger generations. Integral to the work of crafting is their consciousness that excellence of production speaks to modernity’s impoverishment of the relationship between small forest peoples and their surroundings. A case study of one woman’s life in indigenous art/craft production and promotion shows some features of the contemporary ‘craft of craft production’ among these former foragers. They promote their crafts by training new craftspersons from their immediate communities and from the school system; they cooperate with art promoters from the public and private sector, within whose perimeters falls ‘Northwest Coast Art’, a distinctive but integral part of the West Coast culture and its art market.

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Alekseenko, EA 1999. Ket. In Lee, RB & Daly, RH (eds) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press:156–160. Ket The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers 156 160 Google Scholar

Anderson, David G. 1999. Evenki. In Lee, RB & Daly, RH (eds) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press:142–146. Evenki The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers 142 146 Google Scholar

Arendt, H (ed.), Zohn, H (trans) 1968. Walter Benjamin: Illuminations: essays and reflections. New York: Schocken Books. Walter Benjamin: Illuminations: essays and reflections Google Scholar

Brandišaukas, D 2010. Hide tanning and its use in the Taiga: The case of the Orochen-Evenki reindeer herders and hunters of Zabaikalye. Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics 4(2):97–114. Hide tanning and its use in the Taiga: The case of the Orochen-Evenki reindeer herders and hunters of Zabaikalye Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics 4 97 114 Google Scholar

Carlson, RL 1998. Coastal British Columbia in the light of North Pacific maritime adaptations. Arctic anthropology 35(1):23–35. Coastal British Columbia in the light of North Pacific maritime adaptations Arctic anthropology 35 23 35 Google Scholar

Daly, RH 1989–1991. Fieldnotes for Alliance of Tribal Councils, double tracking case. Unpublished. Available: author files and Alliance of Tribal Council, Vancouver. Fieldnotes for Alliance of Tribal Councils, double tracking case Google Scholar

Daly, RH 1989–2015. Interviews with Rena Point Bolton. Unpublished. In Daly’s files. Interviews with Rena Point Bolton Google Scholar

Daly, RH 2005. Our box was full: An ethnography for the Delgamuukw plaintiffs. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Our box was full: An ethnography for the Delgamuukw plaintiffs Google Scholar

Delgamuukw et al 1988–1991. Transcripts at trial: Delgamuukw et al v. HM The Queen in the right of the Attorney-General for Canada and the Province of British Columbia. Supreme Court of British Columbia, Smithers Registry 0843, 274 vols. Google Scholar

Duff, W 1952. The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Anthropology in British Columbia, memoir 1. Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum. The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Anthropology in British Columbia, memoir 1 Google Scholar

Fenton, WN 1998. The Great law of the longhouse: A political history of the Iroquois confederacy. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. The Great law of the longhouse: A political history of the Iroquois confederacy Google Scholar

Francis, D 1992. The Imaginary Indian: The image of the Indian in Canadian culture. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press. The Imaginary Indian: The image of the Indian in Canadian culture Google Scholar

Jilek, WG 1982. Indian h in healing: Shamanic ceremonialism in the Pacific Northwest today. Vancouver: Hancock House. Indian h in healing: Shamanic ceremonialism in the Pacific Northwest today Google Scholar

Kan, S 1989. Symbolic immortality: The Tlingit potlatch of the nineteenth century. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. Symbolic immortality: The Tlingit potlatch of the nineteenth century Google Scholar

Kleinert, S 2000. Writing craft/writing history. Humanities Research, Special Issue: Indigenous Knowledge 1:77–96. Writing craft/writing history Humanities Research, Special Issue: Indigenous Knowledge 1 77 96 Google Scholar

Lave, J & Wenger, E 1991. Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation Google Scholar

Lye, TP 2000. Forest, Bateks and degradation: Environmental representations in a changing world. Southeast Asian Studies 38(2):165–184. Forest, Bateks and degradation: Environmental representations in a changing world Southeast Asian Studies 38 165 184 Google Scholar

Lye, TP 2004. Changing pathways: Forest degradation and the Batek of Pahang, Malaysia. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Changing pathways: Forest degradation and the Batek of Pahang, Malaysia Google Scholar

Mauss, M 1990 [1923–1924] The gift: The form and reason for exchange in archaic societies. London: Routledge. The gift: The form and reason for exchange in archaic societies Google Scholar

Nemysova, EA 1999. Khanti. In Lee, RB & Daly, RH (eds) The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press:161–165. Khanti The Cambridge encyclopedia of hunters and gatherers 161 165 Google Scholar

Point Bolton, R & Daly, RH 2013. Xwelíqwiya: The life of a Sto:lo matriarch. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press. Xwelíqwiya: The life of a Sto:lo matriarch Google Scholar

Roth, S 2011. Reciprocity and culturally modified capitalism in the native Northwest Coast giftware industry. Paper submitted for the 2011 Harold K Schneider Student Prize in Economic Anthropology. Reciprocity and culturally modified capitalism in the native Northwest Coast giftware industry Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Wells, ON 1966. Return of the Salish loom. The Beaver 296:40–45. Return of the Salish loom The Beaver 296 40 45 Google Scholar

Wells, ON 1969. Salish weaving: Primitive and modern as practiced by the Salish Indians of southwest British Columbia. Chilliwack: Oliver N. Wells. Salish weaving: Primitive and modern as practiced by the Salish Indians of southwest British Columbia Google Scholar

Wells, ON 1987. The Chilliwacks and their neighbors. Vancouver: Talonbooks. The Chilliwacks and their neighbors Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

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Author details

Daly, Richard

Daly, Richard